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Transforming the patient experience with cloud and AI

Whether it’s about mental health, COVID, general health issues, or any other issue, healthcare provider organizations are constantly dealing with a flood of calls from patients.

Cloud technology vendors aim to address high call volumes while helping medical call centers reimagine the patient and employee experience.

We spoke with Dan Burkland, President of Cloud Company Five9 – Contact Center-Based Vendors, to discuss why he thinks healthcare provider organizations should embrace cloud technologies rather than other technologies to address The problem of high call volume, how cloud contact centers enable employees to work remotely, how AI can help healthcare organizations route calls and help stabilize call volumes, and how improved visibility into real-time data from call agents can improve the patient experience.

Q. Why do you think healthcare provider organizations should embrace cloud technology over other technologies to address high call volume and reimagine patient and employee experience?

One. Frost & Sullivan recently surveyed 129 healthcare decision makers to see how contact centers are changing due to the pandemic. Overall, 62% of health care organizations reported an increase in patient interactions, 71% of health care organizations migrated to cloud contact centers, and 24% plan to migrate within the next two years.

On-premises systems are slow, bulky, difficult to integrate with other systems, and cannot keep up with the ease of use, fluidity and connectivity of cloud applications. Healthcare organizations that put systems in the cloud during a pandemic can easily move and continue to provide services with minimal disruption.

While moving to the cloud is a big decision, it’s the only way to stay relevant and competitive in today’s healthcare marketplace. Cloud-based solutions enable healthcare contact centers to quickly move their agents to remote work, maintain and scale their operations, and improve agent performance.

Cloud supports accessibility, easy integration with EHR and other back office systems, digital channels and AI-assisted features that reduce call volume.

For example, the Frost report found that organizations investing in AI-driven intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) to automate routine patient interactions during the pandemic, patient and member adoption rates very high.

This finding is consistent with patients’ increasing preference for self-service channels and to manage their care when it is most convenient for them. Overall, 76% of healthcare organizations see an increase in virtual agent interactions, which would not be possible without cloud technology.

Q. How does a cloud contact center enable employees to work remotely and manage the rapidly increasing number of calls from the public, no matter where they are located?

A. When contact center staff have to move to a remote work environment , healthcare shows great agility. According to a Frost report, over 60% of agents moved to remote and were able to maintain performance due to the move to cloud-based contact centers.

Closing the clinic and moving telemedicine proves that investing in a cloud application that integrates with other systems, is accessible via an internet connection, and is easy to use is a smart investment. Providers and patients continue to communicate online, and all but the most urgent care is provided to patients in the comfort and safety of their homes.

Healthcare organizations are also successfully managing a rapidly growing public by investing in digital channels such as texting, chat and messaging, as well as AI-assisted features such as virtual agents, chatbots and automated reply) to make a call.

However, the next-generation healthcare experience is not about eliminating human providers, but about empowering them in ways that enable higher levels of care. Next-generation healthcare is about creating a seamless experience that starts online through your website, moves to your app or patient portal, and engages your contact center staff to schedule or follow up with in-person or telehealth providers path of experience.

This is to create ease and flow in the system so patients don’t have to repeat themselves; provide providers with their information and medical records; and secure appointments, test results, billing, and payments , insurance, and communications all take place within a single agent desktop. It’s about making healthcare easier, more accessible, more accessible and more present.

Q. How can artificial intelligence help healthcare organizations route calls and help stabilize call volume?

A. As the need for patient engagement grows exponentially, artificial intelligence and automation play a key role.

IVA enables healthcare organizations to rapidly expand their workforce through a “digital workforce” that handles simple interactions such as 24/7 appointments or prescription refills. Patients love this because they can complete these tasks without taking time out of a busy day to call their provider and wait in a call queue.

Healthcare workers love it because IVA takes repetitiveness, frees them from mundane tasks on their hands, and lets them focus on more complex and sensitive interactions, which can benefit from their empathy heart and other soft skills.

IVA can also improve the accuracy of call routing through smarter routing to the appropriate service line such as pharmacy, cardiology or radiology for better resolution of first calls . They can collect information and pass it on to healthcare workers or contact center agents during automated interactions, which can reduce average call handling time and improve the overall patient experience.

In addition, IVAs, with the help of biometrics, can use their unique voiceprint to verify the identity of the patient. This frictionless authentication process not only eliminates the time-consuming process of asking a list of security questions; it also improves security and compliance.

AI-assisted self-service channels allow patients to effectively engage with their own patient access workflows and receive proactive communications to update their journeys. Using AI to communicate more proactively with patients can help organizations support increased call volumes, as well.

For example, automatic outgoing calls to remind patients not to drink any water after midnight, then the program can help medical staff with incoming inquiries free of charge, automatic appointment reminders can reduce the need to cancel or reschedule appointments The patient’s phone number to call the contact center.

Q . How does increasing visibility of real-time data from call agents improve the patient experience?

A. Real-time access to patient information such as clinical history, insurance coverage and pharmacy preferences , enabling medical contact center staff to focus on providing empathetic, personalized and proactive care. With the right cloud-based solution, organizations can integrate health data from disparate sources into a simplified agent desktop and make insights more actionable.

For example, when the agent can see the patient calling to update their insurance information Also due to the upcoming preventive screening, the agent can ask the patient if they want to schedule an appointment and take care of it on the spot.

We are also seeing many organizations deploying agent-facing assistance tools that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze customer conversations in real-time and guide agents to take the next best steps to resolve The caller’s problem.

These agent assistance solutions can also help contact center workers stay compliant, provide guidance on complex interactions, provide helpful resources based on conversation content, and share relevant information with patients via SMS A link to a website or knowledge base.

Healthcare organizations often employ higher-skilled contact center personnel, such as nurses, and the more streamlined you can make each interaction, the more efficient and cost-effective your contact center becomes benefit.

When healthcare and insurance, pharmacy and other health systems have an integrated contact center that can share information while maintaining HIPAA compliance and security is at the heart of the next-generation healthcare experience .

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT

Email the author : [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS media publication.



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